Folk wisdom has great power. In the Internet, Yuliya Tymoshenko is regularly being ridiculed, given insulting nicknames and featured in cartoons and photomontages. This is not coincidental.
Yuliya Tymoshenko’s flip-flopping has become obvious to the point of notoriety. The latest example is Serhiy Soboliev, Batkivshchyna MP, publicly supporting sale of agricultural lands during a conciliation council meeting in the parliament. Only a while ago, Tymoshenko and her followers radically opposed this idea and even tried to initiate the referendum to ban agricultural land sale. Her adherents claimed that the land is holy and could not be sold, but suddenly started to support land market. It turns out that sale of agricultural lands is not a bad thing after all as the former prime minister tried to persuade us earlier.
The same goes for the issue of peacekeeping. Not long ago, Batkivshyna leader stressed that we needed peace at any cost and promised to achieve it by negotiating with nobody knows whom. She also accused President Poroshenko of trying to escalate the war. Similarly, she kept total silence on the issue of NATO which is understandable if we recall that she did her best to prevent Ukraine from getting NATO Membership Action Plan. And suddenly, her billboards calling for joining NATO and the EU appear on the streets right after similar initiative of Poroshenko.
She also called young Ukrainians to engage in preparation of the new Constitution of Ukraine. That said, she had already defined the main concept of the Constitution, i.e. establishment of chancellor republic of the German type, without any youth involvement. But more recently, Batkivshchyna leader has kept silent on the Constitution. Probably, not terribly many people expressed their willingness to participate in the process of developing the Constitution along with Tymoshenko.
Also, Tymoshenko suggested liquidating Naftogaz, the state energy company that had previously won case in the Stockholm Arbitration against Russian Gazprom and reclaimed 4.5 bn that should be returned to Ukraine’s budget. Many of us could not but recall the disastrous 2009 gas deal with Russia that was signed by Tymoshenko who was then the prime minister. Therefore, Tymoshenko gave too many reasons for being mocked.
Another moment of embarrassment for Tymoshenko happened during the presentation of her “New Course”. During Tymoshenko’s speech, a man resembling a stripper came to the podium where she was speaking. He was bare chested and had an arrow pointing down. Soon, articles with explicit titles appeared in media: “A Stripped Hinted that Tymoshenko’s New Course Leads to the Bottom”.
Insulting nicknames of Tymoshenko appeared on the web: Zhulia or Chechotkina.
The second nickname was attached to her after she was accused that her second son-in-law regularly visited Moscow and met Putin’s emissaries. His name is Artur Chechotkin and that’s how the nickname appeared.
Yuliya Tymoshenko herself has been regularly accused of having ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. She, of course, denies these allegations but people often ridicule such denials.
In late August, Batkivshchyna leader visited Kherson to conduct campaigning activities that are de facto happening although the campaign is yet to start officially. She was greeted with small posters and banners that hinted to her friendship with Putin. They depicted Russian President with famous Tymoshenko’s feature, the braid.
Her “New Course” is especially castigated by those who are critical of Tymoshenko. This is not surprising given that she was accused of plagiarism. Vox Ukraine, analytical website, gave very telling title to its article on this issues: “Not a “New Economic Course”: Hell of a Mix of Plagiarism, Self-Plagiarism, Non-Existent Sources and Mistakes”.
“The program impresses with its size, the article says (401 pages of predominantly text), but description of problems existing in Ukraine is presented far better than proposed solutions. Furthermore, the program is full of contradictions that were analyzed in detail by Tymofiy Mylovanov”.
Almost immediately, a cartoon appeared that was accompanied by verses that spoke for themselves.
On Durdom website where registered users could post anything they like, several satirical materials on Yuliya Tymoshenko were created. They satirize different aspects of her activities, but the “New Course” was ridiculed the most.
Her idea of chancellor republic that, as rumor says, was invented in Moscow was mocked as well.
Next year, Tymoshenko will be competing for the presidential office for the third time in a row. Although she spent huge amounts of money on advertisement, her level of popularity rose only very slightly. Meanwhile, the presidential elections will be followed by the elections to Verkhovna Rada. They are no less important, as Ukrainian president could turn into British queen if s/he lacks the parliament’s support. This is exactly what happened to Viktor Yushchenko who lost support of the parliament and was unable to change anything in the country.
No doubt, Yuliya Tymoshenko expects to gain significantly more seats for her Batkivshchyna party in the next parliament. But people are no less farsighted and have already reacted to Tymoshenko’s ambitions by creating quite telling poster that you can see below.
Of course, Tymoshenko will create many more opportunities for voters to laugh at her. They only need to buy popcorn, follow her activities and use their sense of humor at the right time. Our people have plenty of humor.